Ellie the elephant plays an unsatisfying game of hide-and-seek with readers.
A semicircle is cut out of every page except the last, so that Ellie’s gray, touch-and-feel trunk is present on every spread. The text asks “Where is Ellie hiding? Is she behind the plant?” Readers see the elephant’s trunk poking out from behind a house plant. At the turn of the page, readers discover that this was not Ellie’s trunk at all, but a teapot’s gray spout or a gray hat’s wide brim. Ellie is finally found hiding behind a fat apple tree at the end. Even though Yoon’s invitingly rotund cartoons in cheerful colors are accessible, this hide-and-seek format is not as engaging as the classic lift-the-flap variety. The gray garden hose that Ellie’s trunk is mistaken for is hard to identify without the text—not to mention a mundane object to find in a game of hide-and-seek. While Yoon is the current reigning queen of inventive board-book gimmicks with such titles as Kaleidoscope and At the Beach (both 2012), this one-note creation is not as successful as these earlier offerings.
Sit this particular game out. (Board book. 1-3)